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“I Do” Deals

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Wedding season means lots of love, joy, and some really great parties. For all the brides and grooms, best men and maids of honor, and the guests, it can also be a wild ride for your bank account.

However, there are ways to save smart without skimping and no shortage of good advice. We love these tips and tricks from experts such as Real Simple, The Knot, WeddingWire, LearnVest, and Pinterest.

We’ve also compiled some of our own great gift and beauty deals to take you through the wedding season circuit with ease:

Gifts from the generous guest for engagement parties, bridal showers, and the big day

The champagne toast is perhaps the most anticipated moment of the day. Help make it possible – and personalized – with elegant engraved toasting flutes.

If the couple is happiest cooking, upgrade their kitchenware with a bamboo cutting board. Customize it with the newlywed’s last name, wedding date, or lyrics from their first dance.

Vino lovers? A personalized bottle of their favorite blend from Miramonte Winery based in Temecula, Calif. could be the way to their heart. Gift it at the bridal shower with a note suggesting they cork it on their first anniversary.

For the wedding party

Thank your maids and men for their support with a token of appreciation that they can don when you walk down the aisle. Our favorite pick for the ladies is a 14K gold diamond initial bracelet – delicate, timeless, and more than 90 percent off retail price.

These Egyptian cotton monogram spa robes are perfect presents for the group who will spend hours getting glammed up, and personalized canvas totes are cute and convenient keepers for everyone’s belongings.

For the groomsmen? A set of engraved cufflinks. This dapper addition to their suit and tie will have them sharp and spiffy in no time flat.

Beauty buys for the ladies

Whether you want curly locks or a sleek hairstyle, this trio of styling irons will give you a salon-worthy look that will last all day.

And the bride doesn’t have to be the only one puckering up – scoop up one of these bright and nourishing lipsticks from Lancome. If you aren’t blushing already, get a flirty flush with makeup sensation from NARS.

Finally, polish off your festive look with this OPI mani/pedi set. From head to toe, you’re ready to go!

On Your Marks

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Longer days + balmier temps = spring has sprung. If that’s not reason enough to take your workout outdoors (or revive a routine altogether – it was a cruel winter), below are 10 race deals to get athletes of all skill levels in the mood to move. We’ve ranked them on a scale of 1-10 in order of intensity:

1. Color Me Rad 5K, Washington, D.C. Saturday, May 30. Start out slow, and by the end of your 3.2 miles your previously plain white tee will be a kaleidoscope of color. Entrants also will receive a one-year subscription to SELF Magazine.

2. Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race, Salt Lake City, Utah. Saturday, April 11. Test your legs and brains as you and your teammates solve tricky clues and get reacquainted with the ins and outs of your city. All eyes on the cash prize!

3. Wild Hog Mud Run, Plant City, Fla. Saturday. April 25. Get down and dirty with your friends at this Wild-West themed adventure course, followed by a lively after-party that just may or may not include mechanical bulls.

4. Tap ‘N’ Run, St. Louis, Mo. Saturday, June 6. 4K run/walk. Hilarious costumes. Adult beverages. Clearly not your most serious workout, but you’ve earned a day off!

5. The Lantern Run, Atlanta, Ga. Saturday, April 18. Light up the night in glow-in-the-dark swag, and after the 5K trek, burn even more calories at a fun-filled dance party.

6. Citi Field Sprint Stadium Spartan Race, New York, N.Y. Saturday, May 9. This is where things intensify. Experience the Mets’ ballpark like never before with three+ miles of sprints, bleacher climbing, wall traversing and more.

7. Sandy Sprint Superhero 5K/10K Canine Run, Philadelphia, Pa. Saturday, April 25. Superhero costumers encouraged and furry friends are invited to join as well. This run benefits the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

8. Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon or Marathon, Raleigh, N.C. Sunday, April 12. Experienced runners looking to log that next personal record will have their chance on this traditional 1/2 marathon or full marathon course.

9. Gladiator Assault Challenge, Lake Geneva, Wis. Saturday May 30, or Sunday, May 31. True to its name, this race will push even the buffest bodies to the max with seven miles of running and obstacle challenges. An epic fiesta will be waiting for you at the finish line!

10. Green Mountain Adventure Challenge, West Dover, Vt. Select dates May-August. Brains and brawn unite for this weekend of trail-hiking, code-cracking and treasure-hunting in the magnificent woods of Southern Vermont.

Pack Your Bags

This post is part of our Escapes Editor’s Picks series, where LivingSocial travel expert Nick Stafford talks about great destinations to travel and tour.

Our resident travel expert Nick Stafford has turned the tables for this month’s Editor’s Pick… it’s consumers’ choice! Featured are some of our most popular vacations from Cape Cod to Crested Butte. Where does your wanderlust lead? Check out a few of the properties in our gallery below.

The cherry on top of an already great vacation deal? 10% off your next Escape by using promo code 10VACAY at checkout through March 30.

 

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How We Shop LivingSocial

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Not surprisingly, our employees are super savvy shoppers. Surrounded by deals every day, we were curious about our team’s top picks, so we asked a few folks about their most recent LivingSocial purchases. What did we learn? Some are foodies, some are jetsetters, and many are great gift givers.

Get inspired and get 15% off your next purchase by using promo code “SPRINGDAY” at checkout. Click here for details.

Staff picks:

I just bought Asian Spice restaurant yesterday for the seafood Thai rice. I am an active consumer and so is my girlfriend. It’s how I wooed her!
Nick, product 

The last thing I bought was an Ohio State National Champions collectible picture. Of course I went with the framed option.
Ryan, customer experience

Charles Tyrwhitt for my husband, a photography session for my daughter who needed head shots for her auditions, Blue Nile for myself, a Hatchery gift box as a present, and of course lots of naked mole rat cards from the National Zoo for all of my Valentines.
Sara, communications

The All American Steakhouse & Sports Theater. We went there as a family. It was a new place we had not been to before – great service.
Jim, sales

The portable cell phone battery was great for my vacation to Maui last year. I took lots of pictures and videos on my island hikes.
Mandi, customer insights

A monogrammed necklace as a gift for my friend’s bridal shower… and pole dancing classes! We did it as part of a bachelorette party. The workout was super fun, really physical and very different.
Meg, business intelligence

I bought the Vermont Adventure Challenge for myself and my wife. This was the state where we first met. So ankle permitting (I just had surgery), I’ll be back to fitness soon and we’ll take the adventure trip sometime in July or August.
Nick, Escapes

Turcuisine, a Mediterranean restaurant near my house. My favorite thing to order there is a lamb dish, the Iskender kebob.
Laura, photo

In the past week, I’ve purchased two weeks of hot yoga for myself and my husband to try, a digital photography course, a prix fixe dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Las Vegas (heading there for my annual girls’ March Madness trip) and tonight I’m having my eyelash extensions done, also courtesy of LivingSocial.
Jen, sales

Two hours of house cleaning a couple weeks ago from Simply Prestige Cleaning! They actually came on Monday and did a great job.
Jesse, human resources

I actually just bought my first spa deal to Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge, which is right around the corner from my apartment in NYC.
Caryn, live events

Tickets to a three-course murder mystery dinner theatre in Baltimore to celebrate a birthday.
Aimee, design

The last thing I bought was either the 10-foot iPhone 5 charger cable or the bamboo pillow. Both excellent purchases.
Reed, IT

Support Mission Moon from Planet Earth

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Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll land among the stars… or if you’re lucky at Chicago’s famed Adler Planetarium, which was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere when it opened in 1930.

The Adler Planetarium has launched its first crowdfunding campaign to benefit their Mission Moon exhibition. The opening will coincide with the 45th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 13 mission. The Adler hopes to raise $95,000 for a dramatic redesign of the interactive exhibition, which tells the exciting story of our nation’s first steps into space.

If you’ve ever dreamed about outer space — and who hasn’t — contribute today on LivingSocial. Your generous support will help make the Adler’s reimagined Mission Moon exhibition a reality when it opens on April 11, 2015.

Every bit helps (the sky is the proverbial limit) the Adler Planetarium fulfill its mission of inspiring the exploration and understanding of our Universe. There are special perks, too, for different contribution levels, from astronaut ice cream delivered straight to your front door, to one of-a-kind original artwork signed by American space hero Capt. James A. Lovell, Jr., and much more.

Thanks for helping this project blast off! Over and out.

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Home to more than 2,600 animals, San Diego Zoo Safari Park will satisfy anyone's wild side. From face time with felines along the newly opened Tiger Trial to feeding giraffes as they graze, you can enjoy the wildlife adventure of a lifetime, now 40% off for a one-day pass. Capture